Apple Drives Billions In Revenue Through Content

During its first-quarter earnings call, Apple on Wednesday reported that its services group generated record revenue of $16.9 billion, thanks to offerings in App Store, cloud, music, video, advertising and payment.

Apple executives talked quite a bit about COVID-related impacts to the company’s business, including how content and services drove revenue.

Content has become one of the biggest revenue drivers in services such as Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple News Fitness+ as well as the Apple One bundle.

Luca Maestri, Apple CFO, said more people signed up for services, and the number of transactions and paid accounts in its digital content stores reached an all-time high during the March quarter, with paid accounts increasing by double digits in each of the geographic segments.

Paid subscriptions continued to grow. During the March quarter, Apple added more than 40 million paid subscriptions sequentially -- reaching more than 660 million across services on its platform, up from $145 million a year ago -- and twice the number of paid subscriptions 2.5 years ago.



New services included Apple Arcade, which launched a major expansion to include original games and new categories. Apple Pay expanded geographically into Mexico and South Africa.

Earlier this month, Apple’s subscription platform for at-home workouts began offering three new programs created for pregnant women, older adults and beginners. It integrates with Apple Watch.

During the March quarter, the categories of Wearables, Home and Accessories grew 25% year-over-year to $7.8 billion, setting a new March revenue record in every geographic segment.

Some 75% of consumers purchasing Apple Watch during the the first quarter in 2021 were new to the product.

Apple also spent a fair amount on advertisements for the Apple Watch. In fact, Apple Watch was the second highest-spending product from Apple, accounting for 21% of its total television spend and appearing on 35 networks, according to data from MediaRadar released today. 

Of its total television spend, 45% was spent promoting its Apple TV+ streaming service.

Some 80% of Apple’s television spend was invested with the four major broadcast networks: NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox.

Apple’s print campaigns appeared in Variety, OK! Weekly, Real Simple, and The Hollywood Reporter, among others. The creative focused on the promotions of Apple Podcasting, Music, News, and their streaming platform.

Within their digital campaigns, Apple spend in the following media:

  • Podcasting - iHeartRadio, StarTalk Radio
  • Direct placements – Pitchfork, Entrepreneur, IMDB
  • Programmatic placements – Vulture, People Style, Us Weekly
  • Online Video: ESPN, Vogue
  • Snapchat: BBC, Twisted Food, Mitu Network
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